Trying to fund the Texas school finance system with local property tax is nuts. It is obviously inadequate and inequitable.
A better way to provide solid, equitable state funding for education is to use the income tax option available under Texas Constitution. Before you overreact, learn what article 8 section 24 says: If the Legislature adopts an income tax, it requires voter approval of the tax rate and requires a reduction in school property tax.
I detest hearing gutless candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and the legislature pledge to absolutely reject any consideration of education funding by an income tax to reduce school property tax. I hope you will withhold your vote and contributions from any candidate who takes such an absolute absurd position. I will.
BILL ALESHIRE, AUSTIN
In the coming weeks, Republican leaders in Congress will advance their agenda for 2018. Many Republicans, including President Trump, are threatening another push to repeal the Affordable Care Act and cut Medicaid this year — moves that would be disastrous for Texans.
Since the ACA went into effect, the percentage of Texans without health coverage has dropped by 30 percent. Data shows more than 1.1 million Texans enrolled in ACA health coverage for 2018.
In Texas, Medicaid provides health coverage to over four million children, pregnant women, seniors and people with disabilities. Reducing federal funds or putting a cap on Medicaid spending would limit Texas’ ability to respond to health costs from recessions, public health emergencies or prescription drug spikes.
Instead of threatening health care, Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn should support bipartisan solutions to expand insurance coverage. Join me in calling on Congress to protect Texas families’ health.
PATRICK BRESETTE, AUSTIN
Remember when FoxNews was accusing President Obama of being complicit in the Ebola virus reaching the U.S. and thus initiating the great Ebola crisis? Two people died in the U.S. during that great monster Ebola scare.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, over 2,300 Texans have died in this current flu outbreak which coincides with the presidency of Donald Trump. You would think Trump would cut Texas some slack and take better care of us Texans. After all we helped put him in office.
Or maybe Trump is gaming us all and soon will take a page out of Sen. Ted Cruz’s playbook of hubris in media spin. Look for an upcoming Trump proclamation: “ This illness is Ebola, not the flu! This health crisis is not my fault, and of course, Barack Obama is responsible.”
GLENN KELLY, LEANDER
On his anniversary, I would like to thank the Disruptor-in-Chief for helping me cut the cable, quit watching TV and be more productive. I didn’t know that my $50-a-month for cable was paying for all these sexual predators in show business or these highly paid unpatriotic football players.
I guess I’m part of the “resistance.” To the Trump resisters, I would like to see if you are truly dedicated and send back your tax cuts.
PAUL SISSONS, GEORGETOWN
Re: Jan. 24 commentary, “Abbott shouldn’t mess with Austin’s recipe for success.”
Complaining today for the American-Statesman that “Abbott shouldn’t mess with Austin’s recipe,” Alberta Phillips speaks for the newspaper, but not for the city. She appears to advocate that Austin lead a conversion of Texas from “red” to “blue” state, like California.
But Austin residents are probably grateful that the Texas Legislature has kept Austin — despite Austin’s unique “blue city” reputation — from being listed with three California cities declaring bankruptcy in recent years (Stockton, San Bernardino, Mammoth Lakes).
Blue cities like Austin can excel when their fanciful “progressive” ideas are held in check by conservative state governments, but they are seemingly doomed to failure if their unrealistic tendencies are shared by the dominant governmental hierarchy, as in California.
Celebrate “Austin weird” while thanking Gov. Abbott that Texas remains Texas, instead.
BRUCE YOUNGBLOOD, AUSTIN
I fully understand the anti-abortion sentiments of the “pro-life” group. I would contend that nobody is “pro-abortion.” Even President Trump acknowledged during the campaign that Planned Parenthood does wonderful things for economically disadvantaged women — cancer screenings, contraception, general health care. Very few of their services are abortion-related — none with federal funds.
Yet, a spurious video taken by an extreme right-wing group is being used to justify defunding Planned Parenthood. No other organization comes close to being able to provide the services that Planned Parenthood offers. Why fight an organization that is doing so much good to help poor women in our state?
Ironically, the same people who are against abortion also vehemently oppose contraception and sex education. Such hypocrisy! I will agree that life begins at conception if we can all agree that life does not end at birth. All children deserve and need quality care and protection.
RAVI MENON, AUSTIN
Sen. Ted Cruz has been lying to the people of Texas since day one.
And true to character, he is now trying to say that it was the Democrats that shut down the government in 2013 and that he had no part in it.
Pathetic. He strikes me as nothing more than a gold digger. Call him and you will never get through. If you write, you will get the “what a great guy I am” reply. And has anyone noticed that he will never have a town hall with his constituents?
Texas deserves better.
RANDY HOWARD, AUSTIN